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UPDATE: Afghan special forces commander defects to Taliban…

(Reuters) – An Afghan army special forces commander has defected to an insurgent group allied with the Taliban in a Humvee truck packed with his team’s guns and high-tech equipment, officials in the eastern Kunar province said on Sunday.

Monsif Khan, who raided the supplies of his 20-man team in Kunar’s capital Asadabad over the Eid al-Adha religious holiday, is the first special forces commander to switch sides, joining the Hezb-e-Islami organisation.

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Sen. Cruz returns to Texas welcome after battle…

SAN ANTONIO (Reuters) – Republican U.S. Senator Ted Cruz, a favorite of the conservative Tea Party movement, returned home to a rousing welcome in Texas on Saturday after his attempt to derail Obamacare with a shutdown of the federal government led to sharp criticism of his tactics as reckless and futile.

“After two months in Washington, it’s great to be back in America,” Cruz joked in speaking to a crowd of about 750 people in a packed downtown San Antonio hotel ballroom.

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OBAMA CALLS IN TECHIES FOR THE FIX…

The Obama administration Sunday said it’s called on “the best and brightest” tech experts from both government and the private sector to help fix the troubled website at the root of the Obamacare enrollment problems.

The unusual Sunday 600-word blog post from the Department of Health and Human Services was the first update in more than a week on the many failings of an expensive website that HHS itself described as “frustrating for many Americans.” But it didn’t specify whom the administration had called in, or when the American people would see clear-cut results on HealthCare.gov.

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As Congressional Resistance Mounts, What’s Next for the Arms Trade Treaty?

Half of the Senate and more than two-fifths of the members of the House of Representatives have advised the administration of their opposition to the global conventional arms trade treaty it signed last month, raising questions about its future implementation in the U.S., the world’s largest arms exporter.

 

In a move largely overshadowed by the standoff over government funding and Obamacare, 50 senators sent a letter to President Obama on Tuesday, pledging not to consent to the U.N. Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) and urging him to notify its depository – the U.N. secretary-general – that the U.S. does not intend to ratify.

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Pelosi on Pork Barrel Spending in CR Bill: ‘Why Are We Talking About This?’

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) asked why reporters were making an issue out of the additional spending that was added to the continuing resolution that re-opened the federal government and increased the debt limit.

“What difference does it make? Why are we talking about this? We’re talking about a bill that as I said last night, I’m not asking anybody to vote for this bill on the merits,” Pelosi said.

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Obamacare Website Violates Licensing Agreement for Copyrighted Software…

Healthcare.gov, the federal government’s Obamacare website, has been under heavy criticism from friend and foe alike during its first two weeks of open enrollment.  Repeated errors and delays have prevented many users from even establishing an account, and outside web designers have roundly panned the structure and coding of the site as amateurish and sloppy.  The latest indication of the haphazard way in which Healthcare.gov was developed is the uncredited use of a copyrighted web script for a data function used by the site, a violation of the licensing agreement for the software.

The script in question is called DataTables, a very long and complex piece of website software used for formatting and presenting data.  DataTables was developed by a British company called SpryMedia which licenses the open-source software freely to anyone who complies with the licensing agreement.  A note at the bottom of the DataTables.net website says: “DataTables designed and created by SpryMedia © 2008-2013.”  The company explains the license for using the software on that website [emphasis added]:

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Yale Professor ‘Embarrassed’ to Discover Tea Party Members are Scientifically Literate

You know that line liberals love to lob at the Tea Party: you’re stupid.  Well, obviously that’s not the case, nor has it ever been true.  Now, a Yale professor has released some new research showing that the so-called “Tea Party radicals” are actually scientifically literate.

Professor Dan M. Kahan of the psychology department at Yale says he was surprised to discover a positive correlation between science comprehension and members of the Tea Party:

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